Sitting in an armchair in a blue chequered shirt with a red bandanna around his neck and a glass of gin and soda resting in his hand, sits a very loved Robert Logan who turned 100 on Wednesday.

The walls of his Westshore home are covered with paintings, family photographs and wall hangings, but what's most apparent is the number of people spilling from doorways and sitting on the floors listening to the speeches - all of whom have come to celebrate his birthday.

To this day, Logan is known for punctuality and follows a strict routine from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed - to him, his age is no excuse for laxness.

His key to a long life is plenty of exercise and the odd gin and soda.


"They think I don't know when they haven't put the gin in, but I know," he says.

"I think I'll have to get up myself and put some in if someone doesn't do it for me."

Logan has become known for giving himself to his country, community and family.

Coming from both a farming family and a family of lawyers, he was born into a world where he had to make sacrifices.

At age 18 he volunteered to join the army to fight for his country in World War II.

He sailed to Egypt where he fought with other New Zealand troops and was one of few Kiwis alive today to witness the surrender of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's troops in North Africa in 1943. Rommel, otherwise known as the 'Desert Fox', had returned to Europe by that time.

Upon returning to New Zealand Logan married his sweetheart Hirani and the couple were happily married for 81 years.

Daughter Louise Pomare said despite his age, the theme of his day is discipline and he wants to make the most of each day.

"It's very much linked to his army background. Early in the morning he has a shave - which is a bit of a ritual - I mean he gets up after 5am or sometimes just before 6am every morning."

"He doesn't walk about much anymore, so his ritual is to watch the sea and he still locks up the house every night without fail.

"It was up until two years ago he would always go for a swim in the sea and would go for a walk right around the beach."

With half of Hawke's Bay in his home, Logan spent the afternoon greeting guests, reminiscing and story telling, a glass of gin and soda in his hand.